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'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral

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PoppaGator 15 Sep 06 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,mg 15 Sep 06 - 01:28 PM
MMario 15 Sep 06 - 01:32 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 01:53 PM
pattyClink 15 Sep 06 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,mg 15 Sep 06 - 02:33 PM
jeffp 15 Sep 06 - 03:31 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,Mick 15 Sep 06 - 03:42 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 03:46 PM
leeneia 15 Sep 06 - 03:49 PM
Big Mick 15 Sep 06 - 03:50 PM
MMario 15 Sep 06 - 03:52 PM
Mo the caller 15 Sep 06 - 03:55 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 03:55 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 04:10 PM
MMario 15 Sep 06 - 04:15 PM
Murray MacLeod 15 Sep 06 - 04:22 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 05:33 PM
leeneia 15 Sep 06 - 06:32 PM
Greg B 15 Sep 06 - 07:04 PM
lesblank 15 Sep 06 - 07:17 PM
GUEST,mg 15 Sep 06 - 07:24 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 08:28 PM
mg 15 Sep 06 - 09:05 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 09:12 PM
lesblank 15 Sep 06 - 09:58 PM
Big Mick 15 Sep 06 - 10:20 PM
GUEST 15 Sep 06 - 11:45 PM
Big Mick 15 Sep 06 - 11:58 PM
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Joe Offer 16 Sep 06 - 04:26 AM
Pistachio 16 Sep 06 - 04:55 AM
JamesHenry 16 Sep 06 - 07:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Sep 06 - 07:54 AM
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Subject: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: PoppaGator
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 01:02 PM

We've discussed this topic at least once before, and I had planned to resurrect and add to an old thread, but I can't seem to find any such past discussion. Should have put a "tracer" on it...

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks five years ago, a number of highly public funerals (e.g., for NYC police and firefighters) featured the singing of "Danny Boy," or at least the instrumental performance of its melody, also (originally?) known as "The Londonderry Air." The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, along with some but not all other US dioceses, responded with a ban on the use of this song at all Catholic services, because of its "secular" nature.

My mom passed away on August 26 after a long bout with vascular dementia. Because she had decided to donate her body to medical sience, there was no "funeral" per se (in the presence of the casketed body). Instead, we held a memorial mass.

Imagine my surprise, at the end of the service, at hearing the organ play the introductory notes of "Oh Danny Boy." I quickly realized that the recessional-hymn lyrics printed in the program were to be sung to this familiar melody.

My sister and my aunt had planned the musical program; I wish they had told me advance the tune to which the closing piece was to be sung ~ I'd have been better prepared to sing out loud and clear. Afterwards, they told me that the lyrics (see below) are a loose English translation of a very old Latin hymn, "In Paradisum" (sic?). Absolutely acceptable to any and all clerical authorities, and totally appropriate to the occasion:

May choirs of angels lead you into paradise,
And may the martyrs come to welcome you
To bring you home into the holy city
So you may dwell in New Jerusalem.
May holy angels be there at your welcoming
With all the saints who go before you there,
That you may know the peace and joy of paradise,
That you may enter into everlasting rest.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 01:28 PM

It makes me furious that the Catholic hierarchy is so pigheaded to the fine men (usually) who were pillars of the faith, fine fathers and husbands, etc. Men like my father (who hated Danny Boy and made me promise to never bring home an Irish tenor). But there is no reason on the face of this earth to deny them that one last tune. mg


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: MMario
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 01:32 PM

it seems to me to be totally counterproductive to ban ANY music requested by the family at a memorial service.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 01:53 PM

Hmmm. Not a bad solution to a problem we Catholic church musicians frequently encounter. It is indeed a fairly good translation of "In Paradisum," an ancient, beautiful song that is used for the final blessing at funerals. Here's the original text, and a more direct translation:

    In paradisum deducant te angeli
    May the angels guide you into paradise
    In tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres,
    And may the martyrs come forth to welcome you home;
    Et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem
    And may they lead you into the holy city, Jerusalem.
    Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,
    May the angel chorus sing to welcome you,
    Et cum Lazaro quondam paupere
    And like Lazarus, forgotten and poor,
    Aeternam habeas requiem
    You shall have everlasting rest.



That translation is by Owen Alstott of Oregon Catholic Press. I'd translate the last part "May the angel chorus receive you; and with Lazarus, once homeless and poor, may you have everlasting rest." I hadn't realized that the song referred to the poor man in the "Dives and Lazarus" story - I've heard that song a thousand times, and always thought it was Lazarus who had been raised from the dead.

The objection to "Danny Boy" is that it isn't a religious song, even though it makes the religious connection of saying an "Ave." It has nothing to do with the ideas and themes expressed in a funeral Mass - it's just a nice, old, sentimental song that people like. There are lots of wonderful religious songs that are more suited to a funeral Mass, and that's what we're supposed to be singing. Many parishes discourage the singing of "Ave Maria" at Mass, and that surprises a lot of people - but again, it doesn't usually have anything to do with the theme of the liturgy except on feasts of Mary.

The restrictions on choice of songs are not hard-and-fast rules, and "Danny Boy" is still one of the songs most frequently sung at Catholic funerals (particularly at the funerals of Irish priests who die in the U.S.-even if the deceased priest might not have approved). Many (probably most) parishes will compromise and allow the singing of non-liturgical songs before or after the Mass, if they're reasonably appropriate.

The funeral Mass, after all, is an act of worship - so the general idea is that the songs sung during liturgy should fit the liturgy. Usually, it's not too hard to work a compromise out for a funeral that will suit the needs of everyone, although I have to say it killed me to try to satisfy the demands of a woman who wanted eleven songs for her father's funeral, and fourteen for her mother's funeral a year later - and she kept changing her mind about what songs she wanted. [Worst of all, she was in love with me and pursued me for two years - and I wasn't interested]

Catholic weddings are even tougher to deal with - many couples seem to have no idea that the Mass is a sacred act of worship, and they want to have everything be all about them and their favorite songs. Most Catholic parishes don't allow recorded music during Mass, either - and many couples want to have "their song" played at the wedding. Usually, we compromise and play it before or after Mass, or at the reception. And usually, we just give in and let them have their "Ave Maria" solo sung by the maiden aunt....

Think of the meaning of the song "Danny Boy," and then take a look at the "May the angels lead you into Paradise" song and think about it for a moment - isn't its meaning far more appropriate for a funeral Mass than "Danny Boy"?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: pattyClink
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 02:31 PM

"May the angels" is certainly more religious. However the second verse of Danny Boy is of a father asking his son left behind to come and pray over his grave. So for an Irish daddy, it is not exactly inappropriate and speaks right to the heart of those left behind.    We wanted Danny Boy sung for our dad, but had to be content with an electric violin playing "May the angels", which at least gave us the tune.

That said, a few rules are good. Around here we have wills requiring their bereaved to play stuff like George Jones' "He stopped loving her today". It can get really out of hand.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 02:33 PM

It sounds like a nice song but why put it to Danny Boy...I am trying to in my head and it doesn't seem to work. How could it have meaning if the man who died had never heard it, never been asked to sing it on St. Patrick's Day, never thought of his father and forefathers singing it, however badly.... mg


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: jeffp
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 03:31 PM

The version that PoppaGator posted scans perfectly to Danny Boy.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 03:40 PM

There are four usual places for hymns in the Catholic Mass, and all four are times of procession - the entrance song, when people gather to worship; the offertory song, when people carry their sacrificial gifts to the altar; the communion song, when people process in unity to receive the Eucharist; and the recessional, when people leave together to "go in peace to love and serve the Lord." There are specific meanings attached to each of these processions - and "Danny Boy" and "Ave Maria" don't fit any of them. The other songs in the Mass are prescribed texts of the liturgy, so there is little room for choice in those texts (other than a choice of Psalm verses); but there is room for a "meditation song" after Communion. Since the main part of the Mass is over after Communion, there's a bit more freedom of choice for this song.

The "May the angels" text is more than just religious - it has been an official (but optional) part of the funeral liturgy for centuries, long before "Danny Boy" was written. I sang the text in the first message to "Londonderry Air" to my mother-in-law this morning, and it worked - but I have to admit she prefers the "Danny Boy" lyrics.

There are tunes for "May the angels" that I prefer, but it seems to me that the version in the first message is a workable compromise for those who want "Danny Boy" at a funeral. And as I said above, most parishes WILL allow a song like "Danny Boy" before or after the actual funeral Mass (and sometimes after communion).

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: GUEST,Mick
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 03:42 PM

I was at a Church of England funeral the other day and was shocked at the mumbo jumbo iterated by the vicar. Crossing himself and talking about seeing this old lady (92) in the future when she would be resurrected and how God and Jesus ... what a load of old codswallop and superstitious rubbish. Is this the 21st centuary or the dark ages?


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 03:46 PM

Yeah, I know what you mean, Mick. I don't know why it is that the clergy insist on expressing their religious beliefs and requiring religious songs at church funerals and weddings. It just isn't appropriate in this day and age.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: leeneia
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 03:49 PM

"It makes me furious that the Catholic hierarchy is so pigheaded..."

If something this trivial really makes you furious, mg, then you ought to see the doctor and ask what's making you so angry.

I think it's reasonable to insist that a religious service have only religious words.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 03:50 PM

GUEST,Mick, this has what to do with the discussion at hand? how does your intruding on a thread about religious service to express your disdain of religion, differ from me jumping into a secular discussion to evangelize, not that I would? I get a little tired of this need to point out to people of faith that they are deluded. Classic intolerance of other viewpoints.

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: MMario
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 03:52 PM

I'm curious Joe - is there no place in a funeral Mass for a song to be used as or in place of a Eulogy, or a restrospective - which are featured in many memorial services?


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Mo the caller
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 03:55 PM

If you want a church funeral you go along with the mumbo jumbo. If that's what you think it is have a secular funeral.
The worst was at my Father-in -law's, at the crematorium. They were not religious, my mother-in-law was disabled and not able to sit without pain.
We had asked for something short and not religious, the man officiating seemed to think that 'short' meant 'all the usual words at twice the speed'.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 03:55 PM

I dunno, Mick. Everything in this discussion seems to follow logically. I take it that Guest,Mick was speaking with his tongue in his cheek....or not.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 04:10 PM

MMario, the time after Communion is often set aside for a special song, remarks from the family, and so forth. There was a feeling among liturgists that this was getting out of hand and sometimes lasting over an hour and getting into matters that just didn't fit into a funeral Mass, so some dioceses have set (usually reasonable) restrictions on this practice. In our parish, the usual practice is to have one or two close friends or family members come up and speak, and those speakers are sometimes briefed by the priest or liturgy director beforehand. If people want to have a slide show or recorded music or remarks from other people, there's time for that at the reception in the church hall afterwards.

Weddings and funerals can often become festivals of tackiness and sentimentality. The churches often feel that it's worthwhile to set some guidelines. Most of the time, these restrictions are quite reasonable, and efforts are made to accommodate the wishes of the family as far as possible - keeping in mind that church weddings and funerals are worship services. Of course, there are a few very rigid personalities among the clergy who won't be either sympathetic or accommodating - but you have that problem in every profession.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: MMario
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 04:15 PM

Thanks for explainng, Joe! -Yes, I've run up against the "rigid personalities" issue before - including the priest that refused to have *any* memorial service of any kind in the parish because the persons daughter hadn't received permission from him to cremate the body.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 04:22 PM

... Around here we have wills requiring their bereaved to play stuff like George Jones' "He stopped loving her today".

ROFLMAO !!

Thanks, pattyClink, that's the funniest thing I have read on here for ages ...


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Subject: Lyr Add: HE STOPPED LOVING HER TODAY (George Jones
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 05:33 PM

I think that calls for a song:


George Jones
HE STOPPED LOVING HER TODAY

He said I'll love you till I die
She told him you'll forget in time
As the years went slowly by
She still preyed upon his mind

He kept her picture on his wall
Went half crazy now and then
He still loved her through it all
Hoping she'd come back again

Kept some letters by his bed
dated 1962
He had underlined in red
Every single I love you

I went to see him just today
Oh but I didn't see no tears
All dressed up to go away
First time I'd seen him smile in years

Chorus: He stopped loving her today
They placed a wreath upon his door
And soon they'll carry him away
He stopped loving her today

You know she came to see him one last time
Oh and we all wondered if she would
And it kept running through my mind
This time he's over her for good

Chorus:...


from: Cowpie


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: leeneia
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 06:32 PM

Thanks for posting the words, Poppagator. I just tried singing them to the tune, and they work well.

It's good to ask people to sing to tunes they already know. Of course this air has the drawback of an unusually wide range.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Greg B
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 07:04 PM

>It sounds like a nice song but why put it to Danny Boy...

If it helps, think of it as rather being put to the
London derriere.

>There was a feeling among liturgists that this was getting out of hand >and sometimes lasting over an hour and getting into matters that just >didn't fit into a funeral Mass,

Pardon my cynicism, but I'm as Catholic and trained in it as Joe,
and I'll counter with some liturgists wanting to not have to work
that extra hour for their $200.00 honorarium lest they be late
for a golf date, or not have the Church tied up the extra time.

It's not unusual to have two hour fal-de-ral for a holiday at
some ordinary parishes or to weave an extra hour of stuff
when both the liturgist and the congregation cares to.

I've found that the 'average' liturgist finds a way to avoid doing
something when it requires extra thought or effort on his part...
mostly they sound like they're phoning it in.

Course this is the guy who probably couldn't show up to
give the departed Last Rites either, unless they had the
good grace to snuff it on 'his' day at the hospital.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: lesblank
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 07:17 PM

My apologies for being so dense -- just what is the reason for the Church's prohibiting "Danny Boy" being sung ???


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 07:24 PM

Aspects of Catholicism lend themselves to obsessive-compulsive behavior for one. mg


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 08:28 PM

Well, Les, the plain-and-simple answer is that the Catholic Church requires religious songs for religious services, and "Danny Boy" is not a religious song (notwithstanding the fact that it does say that the singer will pray for Danny after he's dead). It's a nice, old, sentimental song that a lot of people like, but it has nothing to do with liturgical worship. However, most Catholic parishes allow it to be sung before Mass, or after the main part of the Mass is over.
The general idea of a Catholic funeral is that it is supposed to be a joyful celebration of a coming home to the Lord after death, recognizing and consoling the grief and loss of those left behind but conveying a message of hope and faith in a life hereafter. "Danny Boy" is a nice song, but it doesn't convey that message.
This is a change from the mournful, sorrowful, fearful tone of the "requiem" Mass of the past, which spoke in medieval terms of "that day of wrath, that dreadful day." The new approach is more consistent with a traditional Catholic faith and theology that pre-dates the somber tones of medieval and Victorian times.
Sorry you have such a cynical view of the situation, Les er, Greg. I think I'd agree with those who say that an extra hour of testimonials as part of an already hour-long funeral Mass is too much. Most parishes I've seen try to keep it down to ten or fifteen minutes at the end of Mass, and then allow for more at the reception in the church hall afterwards - or at the graveside. That allows an opportunity for a gracious exit for those who can't stay longer. Yes, I've known liturgists and priests whose primary concern is to get the damn thing over and get out on the golf links - but my experience is that most of them try their best to do a good job with good taste and with compassion for the people involved. I was in a Catholic seminary for 8 years and majored in Theology, and I've served as a catechist and church musician for over 40 years, so I have a fair amount of experience - most of it good.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: mg
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 09:05 PM

HOw can it possibly be joyful when all of us go to purgatory and at least some are said to go to hell..? And what was wrong with the dies ire? mg


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 09:12 PM

Mary, the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls Purgatory a "state of purification" to prepare one for entrance into Heaven. Most of our concept of Purgatory comes from Dante's Purgatorio. I prefer the idea of purgatory presented in The Five People You Meet in Heaven, which is quite possibly more consistent with Catholic doctrine. I suppose Hitler and a few other truly evil people may be in Hell, but logic tells me that most ordinary people don't fit into the Hitler category.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: lesblank
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 09:58 PM

Joe: I fail to see how asking a simple question in good faith implies a cynical view of the situation. Methinks you may be a bit sensitive.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 10:20 PM

Les, I think Joe thought he was responding to Greg, not you.

And thanks, Joe, for bringing a balanced and thoughtful response to some of the cynics here.

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 11:45 PM

This is a load of crap. The Roman Catholic Church has NOT banned the singing of Danny Boy at funerals. I was at a Roman Catholic funeral in St. Paul, MN (as Roman Catholic a town as they come in the Protestant dominated Upper Midwest) a week ago yesterday. Deceased, the father of one of my oldest friends, was very Irish American, very Catholic. and very active as a lay leader in his church up until the month before he succumbed to lung cancer at age 90.

Not only did the choir spontaneously perform Danny Boy in his honor at mass the Sunday morning after he passed--completely unbeknown to his surviving family in the pews--but the song was sung as a solo at the funeral mass, per request of the deceased family. As was Ave Maria.

Now, I know we're a liberal diocese here, but I'm quite sure if any edicts had been handed down by the Vatican on the performance of Danny Boy and Ave Maria at funeral masses here, we wouldn't be hearing them performed at nearly every fucking Catholic funeral for people over 75 for as long as I can remember.

But it is certainly a popular urban myth that the church has "banned" the performance of this music at funerals masses.

But perhaps some of the Catholic faithful around here, bunch of old pontificating windbags that they are, didn't get the email about that.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 11:58 PM

Perhaps it would do you well to read for comprehension before blasting off. No one said the Church (as in the whole Roman Catholic Church). Here is what was said:

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks five years ago, a number of highly public funerals (e.g., for NYC police and firefighters) featured the singing of "Danny Boy," or at least the instrumental performance of its melody, also (originally?) known as "The Londonderry Air." The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, along with some but not all other US dioceses, responded with a ban on the use of this song at all Catholic services, because of its "secular" nature.

The parish you were in very likely did as you say, but I will bet a fair amount of money, a harp I don't like anyway, and toss in a cat that I don't like either, that it was not within the context of the Mass, but after Communion. No one said the Vatican issued an edict.

Hop off the horse.

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 11:58 PM

PS, the only intolerance about music fight with religious bigots I ever had was with a Protestant organist, who refused to play Ave Maria at my mother's Lutheran memorial service. Since my mother had sung the song Ave Maria at all her sisters' weddings (1 was Catholic, the other two Protestant, and all took place in the late 1930s/early 1940s) this was a deal breaker for us. We fired his ass, and found another very lovely organist (also Lutheran, and appalled at the guy's refusal) who did a bang up job. When we queried the minister about it, she (yes, she) responded that they allow whatever songs/pieces the family requests in their memorial services. So it was this one fundie sort who deemed the performance of "Catholic" music unseemly, even though this was a nursing home chapel that performed both Catholic and Protestant memorial services regularly for deceased residents.

So Poppagator, it may well be there never was a "ban" on Danny Boy, but that your aunties just felt their version of it to be "more appropriate" and blamed it on the priest. Nice, passive aggressive little old ladies do that sort of thing all the time so they don't have to take criticism for a choice they make but fear might have some backlash attached.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 04:26 AM

Sorry, Les. It was Greg's comment about liturgists in a hurry to play golf that I was responding to. But sometimes I get confused...

In general, I have to say that there aren't major problems with music in most weddings and funerals. The musician usually offers the family a list of songs to choose from, and the family makes their choices. Sometimes, there's a request for something else, and sometimes those requests are rejected - but more often they're accepted or a reasonable substitute offered.

Our choir director was asked to sing Our Lady of Knock at an Irish-American funeral a couple of weeks ago. She didn't know it and thought it was corny, but she learned it - and she was thrilled by the warm reception the family gave her singing. I think the song is corny, too - but I'd probably agree to sing it. I kinda like corny songs.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Pistachio
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 04:55 AM

Years ago I was asked if I'd be prepared to sing Danny Boy at a funeral (for a 'grandfather' who was /is currently alive). Should I get the 'call to sing I'll be able to take 'alternative' words just in case there are any 'objections'!
Many thanks for your most informative posts Joe. If I go to church I feel comfortable there, after a childhood of being taken every Sunday. I'm not 'a believer' and anyone may call me a hypocrite but when I find myself in a church I show due respect and sing out loud and clear.
The great thing with Danny boy/Londonderry air is that many people know it. It is so sad when unfamiliar hymns are chosen and only very few voices carry the tune.
H.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: JamesHenry
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 07:13 AM

"Danny Boy" at Catholic funeral.

And him a good Protestant!


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 07:54 AM

Perhaps its an Irish thing rather than a catholic thing. I know one bloke who has a folk group and refuses to play Fields of Athenry - cos he says its a rebel song. He won't play Flower of Scotland either for the same reason.

Another Irishman (also a folksinger) - I met him after a funeral and he was really scandalised because a friend had had Boulavogue played over his grave.

I think maybe they are a tad touchy about songs in a way that we aren't.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 08:37 AM

A dear young friend of mine, Bob Myles, suffered from Cystic Fibrosis. He had lived much longer than was expected of young folks suffering from this horrid disease. Married beautiful Lisa, had 4 kids. I miss him today. One of his last requests was that I sing "Green Fields of France" at the funeral mass. The priest had no problems with it, and I sang it after communion during the time of reflection. Bless that boy's heart, I miss him today.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 08:58 AM

As far as I know , priests have a lot of leeway in what is 'allowed' at their churches , so one parish will have a totally different point
to another ! And there are Fundamentalists and Bigots all over the place !!


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: GUEST,Tam
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 12:54 PM

Flower of Scotland a rebel song?


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 03:20 PM

The way the pecking order works in the Catholic Church is this:
  • The local bishop controls anything that Rome chooses not to control
  • The local pastor controls anything that the local bishop chooses not to control
  • The lay people get what's left, and the pope, bishop, and pastor have the right to veto just about anything not specifically directed from the levels above.
The neoconservatives are rarely willing to accept anything unless it comes from Rome, and even then they often question any pronouncement made after 1950. We have neocons trying to contradict the pastor's choice of altar wine, the lyrics of songs we sing from Catholic hymnals (specific target now are phrases [tropes] added to the "Lamb of God" song), and the pastor's decision that we should stand and sing together during communion (rather than kneeling). Another interesting aspect of the neoconservatives is their distrust of priests and nuns and American bishops who don't come from specifically neoconservative roots. they liked John Paul II, but aren't sure about any other pope since Pius X (1903-1914).
As for "Danny Boy," I guess I'm six on one side, half a dozen on the other. I don't want it sung at MY funeral, but I don't mind it - but I wouldn't argue with a pastor or bishop who didn't want to have it sung, because there's no theological or liturgical justification for including it in a Mass other that the fact that some people like it. I think I'd draw the line at Neil Diamond songs, though. I don't care if "Holly Holy" and "I am...I said" sound religious to some folks. Next thing you know, they'll want "Cracklin' Rosie."
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Matt_R
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 06:24 PM

This doesn't bode well for my idea to have "The Dark Isle" and Morricone's theme to "Once Upon a Time In The West" played at my funeral.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 06:33 PM

Weekettledrummer,

Re "Boolavogue" - just tell 'em it's real name is "Youghal Harbour".

Regards

p.s. Or, if it's not a Catholic church, say it's a particularly slow version of "Sweet Omagh Town"!


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 06:35 PM

***snerk***


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 06:35 PM

Little not Kettle! Apologies,

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: mg
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 07:30 PM

Why in the world should we stand after communion? I won't. It is one too many rules. Lots of people won't either. And the lyrics of most of the newer songs are abysmal, as are the rhythms, which are not natural, going from 3/2 to 6/7 etc. And the tunes are tuneless and that kind of music attracts people who can stand it and say no more. THe music is like having someone let a bad smell into the church, say like a skunk, and then they say you have bad attitude, and probably are committing a great sin, for daring to bring it up. There are neofascists running music committees these days.

Well, I never said Danny BOy should be played in Mass...on the way out is good enough to send the dear departed along. As for me, I always wanted the Dies Ires sung like we sang in fourth grade. If it was good enough for my great grandparents, some of whom probably had to have services in the blackthorn bushes, it is good enough for me. mg


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Greg B
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 09:02 PM

Sorry for my cynicism Joe.

My resume runs like this:

12 years of Catholic school.

College degree in Religious Studies.

Worked as youth- and liturgical music minister.

Very active liturgy planner at a place where 2-hour
liturgies were not uncommon.

Candidate for a religous order.

Only the last five years I've spent as an active advocate
for the survivors (and victims) of sexual abuse by priests
who, when they weren't playing golf or getting blind drunk
at the 19th hole, were diddling little boys and girls and
vulnerable adults.

My view of the clergy at large is very, very, cynical. And
that view extends well beyond those who actually molested/abused to
those who knew, and protected them, transferred them, and
coddled them while throwing the victims out with the trash.
The ordained life in Catholicism, far from being a burden,
is one of tremendous privilege and security, far more than
the ordinary 'working class' will ever know. It is one
where there is remarkably little accountability in a downwards
direction.

Every 'good' priest I know would rejoice in the opportunity
to keep people in church, thinking about the matter at hand,
for two hours. And at the opportunity to connect the liturgical
with the life that is being celebrated. As opposed to rushing
to the parking lot, having received their weekly rubber stamp
(at least those who still show up).

When my friend's father was dying, guess who showed up for
the lifelong Catholic and loyal (albeit not rich) parishioner?
The parish priest? Hell no. The Baptist African-American woman
chaplain from hospice. He got communion maybe once in six weeks,
but saw her weekly. When he passed, the parish's only contact
was through the funeral home...asking for $1500 or so bucks
to have the funeral Mass said there by Fr. McBucks. The
memorial service was presided over by that kindly woman,
in the conference room of his attorney, a family friend.

My own grandfather's experience wasn't much different. 30
years in the parish, 4th Degree Knight, countless volunteer
hours before he became frail and a few years passed and it
was 'what have you done for me lately?'

'Going My Way' is definitely an old movie, and just a movie.

Oh, and of the clergy to whom I was personally close, well
one molested about three dozen little girls. His golf buddy
acrosss town abused two brothers, one of whom became schizo
and chopped off his hand which "kept him from the kindom of
heaven." Their other body the next town over did both boys
and girls, about twenty at last count. Another taught us
yoga, then not much later was the first person I knew who died of
AIDS caught from his partner. Another broke the seal of the
confessional to break up a relationship because he was
interested in the young man, while my own spiritual director
conspired with the latter priest to 'leak' info to the
young man, during which time said spiritual director was
carrying on an abusive relationship with a peer of mine
starting at age 16. He waited until I was 19 to make his
attempt on me, by which time I didn't fall for it. And my
other mentor, well he JUST set up housekeeping with a 19-year-old
young man (Mike must be 55) who came to him in his parish
for counseling. The priest who took over from the first priest
had an affair with a deceased friend of mine when he was a
young priest, bought a condo with her to shack up in, the
persuaded her to quit-claim it to him for zero dollars (we
have the public records). She said he extorted sex from her
by threatening to put her on the street. She lived there till
she died, and he still owns it, to the tune of a half a million
in capital gains. HE was the one who refused to take the first
priest's name off the parish center when asked (even thought
the diocese admitted the abuses). Oh, and at my high school
the band teacher (Holy Cross) abused two different boys. When
one of them went to the chaplain, later promoted to principal
for help, the chaplain 'helped' by sodomizing the 14-year-old.

And while we're at it, I give you Bishop Daniel Walsh of
Santa Rosa, who violated state reporting laws (which he
himself signed off as knowing) by delaying reporting of
Fr. Xavier Ochoa to law enforcement when said priest
admitted abusing boys...with four other priests in the
room. All five of these mandatory reporters failed to
report for several days. Ochoa is now safely out of reach
in Mexico. And Walsh is pulling political strings to avoid
prosecution.

Yeah, these guys are the very 'flower' of American male-ness
and I take at face value the motivations for everything they
do!

Some priest friends of mine are so disgusted that they've
gone into exile (Tim Stier, of Fremont, Ca.) from their
work, retired (Fr. Ken Lasch) or actually sued for their
own sexual abuse in seminary/religious formation (Fr. Robert
Hoatson).

I have a feeling that when Ken came to my house for a dining-
room table liturgy to celebrate the life of my late Uncle Vince
he'd have let me sing 'Danny Boy' if I'd wanted to. He likes
Irish music. Only Vince was English. Probably would have
sat through that Prot hymn 'Jersusalem' even. He was quite
amused when the cat sat quietely in the other room until it
was time for communion, then quietly walked over and waited
at has feet!

Oh...if anyone here has been abused by a priest or religious,
give me a shout...I have the right connections to get you the
help and support you deserve.

So the straight-up answer, is that if Fr. McFeely won't let
you sing 'Danny Boy' at your Irish father's funeral, then
it has to more with his being an officious prick who wants
to get through another lame-ass rubber-stamp liturgy which
intrudes in his schedule than any other reason. And if Pa
left a half a million to the parish, and his new Mercedes
to McFeely you'd be able to sing 'Kick the Pope' while he
processed up the aisle in an orange stole.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 09:17 PM

Speaking of the pope, isn't it odd that the new one just managed to insult the Muslim world? Surely he has PR people who could have spelled this out for him. Surely he knows we are at war with elements there....mg


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 12:21 AM

Surely the Catholic church is as fucked up as it's ever been.

Some things never change. The deep hypocrisy of the church is one of those things which do seem to abide.


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 03:40 AM

Well, if you want to look for the dark side of anything, you won't have to look hard. You may even find it in yourself. All of us have flaws - if that's what you're looking for, you're sure to find them. Yes, there are plenty of screwed-up priests, just like there are plenty of screwed-up people in every profession.
Plenty of good ones, too.
Yes, there's hypocrisy everywhere, too. Maybe it's best to ignore it, or to look to people who aren't hypocritical.
Greg, I'm sure your experiences are related accurately, but I think you're describing a relatively small portion of the picture. I'm sorry that it's the only part of the picture that you've experienced.
I suppose it's that old Weltanschauung thing coming up again. You can believe that most people in the world are good, and you'd be right. You can believe that most people in the world are bad - and you'd be right on that, too. The "good" perspective works better for me.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 06:47 AM

Guest Mick asked,
Is this the 21st centuary or the dark ages?

21st century since what Mick?


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Subject: RE: 'Danny Boy' at Catholic funeral
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 08:42 AM

I like unusual songs at funerals. My mate had 'Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye' played at his Mums. Didn't half lighten the mood. One which had the congregation in outright laughter though was at my Uncle Denis's funeral. At his request they played the theme from 'The Great Escape'. :-)

In answer to questions about the Catholic church and the Pope - You didn't seriously think that the Catholic church would stand by while the Moslem Mullahs captured all the attention did you? No - You can be pretty sure that any statement of the Popes is quite deliberate. Not saying who is right or wrong but what is good for the goose is good for the gander;-)

Cheers

DtG


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